The Lived Experience of South Asian Women Struggling With Disordered Eating: Fostering a Culturally Sensitive Approach

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Chaudhry, Mahnoor
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This capstone project explores the unique challenges and experiences of South Asian women struggling with disordered eating, aiming to foster a culturally sensitive approach in mental health counselling. Utilizing a hermeneutic phenomenological method, this capstone provides an in-depth exploration of the complex interplay of cultural norms, societal pressures, environmental influences, and stigmas that exacerbate disordered eating behaviours in this population. This method was selected for its ability to deepen our understanding through interpretive engagement with lived experiences. This capstone examines a range of topics including but not limited to, gender roles, prevalent beauty standards, diet culture, media influences, the impact of racism, and acculturation. The literature reveals a significant gap in the existing mental healthcare system regarding the culturally specific needs of South Asian women, serving as a call to action for clinicians, researchers, and policymakers. By offering a deeper understanding of the complexities involved, this capstone aims to contribute to the development of therapeutic approaches that are both effective and culturally sensitive. This paper emphasizes the critical importance of cultural competence and outlines a roadmap for future research and practice, aimed at reducing healthcare disparities in treating disordered eating among vulnerable populations.
South Asian women , disordered eating , eating disorders , cultural competence , hermeneutic phenomenology , mental health
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess